An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...
Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...
Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...
FROM BLACK TO BLACK AND THE OEUVRE IMPOSSIBLE
From drawings, paintings, pictures and plaster (black, always black, from which pink lines and shapes emerge) erupt, in circular motion, signs of the end and rebirth of the civilisation—human, almost too human.
All things Human—civilisation on the background—are inevitably extinguished. That much we understand, as that is the Work of Mankind. But this Work also contains a wish: a pink polyhedron remains hidden inside a book (an artist book) and this shape signals the restart, or what is left for a restart (the artist speaks of a 'reset') and a (new?) language with which all animals are able to communicate, unlike the human Babel.
But what about the polyhedron? Who put it inside this book of the rebirth of the world? And who, in essence, desires this rebirth? We will never know.
That is, Man does not wish to perpetuate himself. He ends up in black and without sunlight (see paintings, polaroids and artist book) and it is from the animals (with access to this new language) and from a pink light that everything resurfaces.
The new beings free themselves from a sort of 'curse' (the establishment of thinking) chalked up by Rousseau: if one is born from or with knowledge, once ceases to be human, free, 'citizen'. And everything returns to the same point, from black to the end. After the destruction, or the alchemical 'oeuvre au noir' ( art ), after the 'oeuvre au blanc' and the 'oeuvre au rouge', led ( and many of these painting carry the 'weight' of led ) is turned into gold.
But this show is very different from the cited 'cientific' adventure. Its black theogony makes the birth of order and chaos possible (and, in Hesiod, it is from chaos that night is created), and from chaos, the impossible.
Impossible for us, but perhaps possible in the unknown imaginary that arises here, in this 'silence des bêtes' (Elisabeth de Fontenay) or this 'perfect imperfection of the black' (Badiou). An imaginary and a new world where everything remains unseen, and is therefore new. A new vision. And it is very important that what is to come is not 'Oeuvre'. Rule, Measure.
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